By: Rosalina Carapia
My name is Rosalina and I was born in Ensenada, Baja California. My father left us when I was very young and my mother had to go to work to support me and my five brothers. This was difficult for her because she had a severe case of diabetes and was going blind. Also, my disability was a big burden on her. When I was very young I was diagnosed with Rickets, a deficiency of vitamin D in my bones, which caused a deformity in my legs making it hard for me to walk and do anything on my own. It was an impossible situation for my mother to try to help me because we were so poor. In Ensenada, medical professionals were not familiar with my disease and my mother did not know how to help me. So, when I was six years old, my mother made the difficult decision to give me up and I went to the orphanage, Kids Kingdom. Tomas and Maricela, my new mom and dad and directors of the orphanage, took me to Shriners Hospital in Los Angeles, CA where I had surgery on both legs. Kids Kingdom not only cared for all my physical necessities, but they also gave me so much love. After my surgeries I started walking with an orthopedic walker, and with a lot of support and encouragement, I eventually learned to walk.
For me, Kids Kingdom gave me a real home and the family I never had. Maricela and Papa Tomas made me feel welcome and special. I can say that I enjoyed everything that a kid could want or ask for. I never lacked food, clothing, or love.
With the support of my new family, I was able to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher. At my graduation, I was so proud to have Papa Tomas by my side. Today I am a teacher at a missionary training center.
I am thankful to Kid's Kingdom for teaching me the most important life lessons and giving me opportunities I never would have had! Kids Kingdom is certainly more than just an orphanage… it is a home. I love going home to visit my parents, Tomas and Maricela, to give me advice, a hug, and love.